Sept. 2021 > Bar Notes

A Roundup of County Bar News From Around the State

1. Clark County Bar Association

» The Clark County Bar Association (CCBA) recently moved to a new office at 904 Esther St. in Vancouver. On April 16 a “Party at the New Place” was held in the parking lot to celebrate the new space. Over 40 members attended to check out the new office and enjoy a complimentary beverage from a celebratory coffee cart.

» The annual Clark County High School Mock Trial Tournament was held via Zoom in February. Clark County Superior Court Judge Robert Lewis wrote the fact pattern, entitled “The Statue,” a criminal case involving charges of malicious mischief and assault that arose when a public monument was destroyed during a protest. Eleven local teams competed over three days; Cascadia Technical Academy was named the county champion. Four other schools—Henry M. Jackson High School, Cedar Tree Classical Christian School, Team 1-Hockinson High School, and Columbia River High School—also received invitations to the state tournament. Over 100 volunteer judges and attorneys from Clark County helped to score, rate, and provide feedback to all competitors.

» Lisa Darco, Clark County Bar Association executive director, reports that the past year has brought some unexpected benefits: member engagement is up, emails are being opened at a greater rate, and members have come to rely on the CCBA as a central place for the latest information including court updates and local rule revisions. Engagement with local courts at all levels has increased, and short 60-minute Zoom updates and CLEs have proved to be popular.

2. Ferry County Bar Association

After several years on hiatus, Ferry County is reviving its county bar! Ferry County Deputy Prosecutor Matthew Upchurch was recently named interim county bar president, and an initial meeting was attended by several local bar members.

3. Kitsap County Bar Association

The Kitsap County Bar Association (KCBA) held its annual Law Day celebration on May 7. Over 110 people attended the morning program via Zoom; Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Kevin Hull presided over the day’s festivities. Washington Supreme Court Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud presented the keynote address entitled “Lifting as We Climb.” Kitsap Legal Services Executive Director Joanne Sprague recognized local pro bono attorneys with several awards including the COVID-19 Award to Steve Olsen, the Mr. Reliable Award to Eric McDonald, and the Law Firm of the Year Award to Compass Legal Services, PS.

A benefit of the virtual Law Day celebration was the ability of Navy personnel from San Diego who are members of the Kitsap legal community to participate.11 Military awards were presented by Naval Captains Art Record and Stephen Reyes to legal professionals. Honorees included Lt. Ryan Feingold, Legalman 2nd Class LaClaire Cartwright, and paralegal specialist Suzanne Burleigh.

A highlight of Law Day is the student essay contest. Attorney Tom Weaver coordinated the annual contest. Medals and cash awards were presented to first-, second-, and third-place recipients in the high school and middle school categories.

The Liberty Bell Award acknowledges outstanding community service. This year the KCBA presented the award to Pastor A. Richmond Johnson of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Pastor Johnson was recognized for his work in establishing Police and Communities Together (PACT), a partnership bringing young church members and local police together for open dialogue and community building.

Law Day 2021 concluded with a virtual luncheon. Rep. Tarra Simmons, D-Tracyton, who is also a member of the Bar, provided updates and answered questions on Washington’s 2021 legislative session.

4. Spokane County Bar Association

» The Spokane County Bar Association (SCBA) offices have been open and operating under a “new normal” since May 2020.

» Scott Mason was recently named the 2021 recipient of the Smithmoore P. Myers Professionalism Award. The award recognizes an individual who practices law in the Spokane area and exemplifies the high ethical and professional standards of the legal profession.

» In April, the SCBA held an inperson swearing-in ceremony for four new bar members: Krista Ozimy, Jason Gillmer, Pansy Watson, and Cody Ross. Spokane County Superior Court Judge Harold D. Clarke III administered the Oath of Office.

» The annual Champions of Justice Breakfast was held on May 14 and broadcast live to SCBA members from a local television studio. Bar President Jenaé Ball moderated a panel of three Spokane County Superior Court judges—Julie McKay, Tony Hazel, and Charnelle Bjelkengren—and County Clerk Timothy Fitzgerald, who spoke about the future of access within the courts. Additionally, SCBA members were able to hear directly from clients and volunteers about how the Volunteer Lawyers Program improves access to the courts and access to justice.

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